Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
"to become awake," Old English wacan "to become awake," also from wacian "to be or remain awake," both from Proto-Germanic *waken (cf. Old Saxon wakon, Old Norse vaka, Danish vaage, Old Frisian waka, Dutch waken, Old High German wahhen, German wachen "to be awake," Gothic wakan "to watch"), from PIE root *weg- "to be strong, be lively" (cf. Sanskrit vajah "force, swiftness, race, prize," vajayati "drives on;" Latin vegere, vigere "to be live, be active, quicken," vigil "awake, wakeful," vigor "liveliness, activity"). Causative sense "to rouse from sleep" is attested from c.1300. Related: Waked; waking. Phrase wake-up call is attested from 1976, originally a call one received from the hotel desk in the morning.
"track left by a moving ship," 1540s, perhaps from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wake "hole in the ice," from Old Norse vok, vaka "hole in the ice," from Proto-Germanic *wakwo. The sense perhaps evolved via "track made by a vessel through ice." Perhaps the English word is directly from Scandinavian. Figurative phrase in the wake of "following close behind" is recorded from 1806.
"state of wakefulness," Old English -wacu (as in nihtwacu "night watch"), related to watch; and partly from Old Norse vaka "vigil, eve before a feast," related to vaka "be awake" (cf. Old High German wahta "watch, vigil," Middle Dutch wachten "to watch, guard;" see wake (v.)). Meaning "a sitting up at night with a corpse" is attested from early 15c. (the verb in this sense is recorded from mid-13c.). The custom largely survived as an Irish activity. Wakeman (c.1200), which survives as a surname, was Middle English for "watchman."
A funeral celebration, common in Ireland, at which the participants stay awake all night keeping watch over the body of the dead person before burial. A wake traditionally involves a good deal of feasting and drinking.
watch or vigil held over the body of a dead person before burial and sometimes accompanied by festivity; also, in England, a vigil kept in commemoration of the dedication of the parish church. The latter type of wake consisted of an all-night service of prayer and meditation in the church. These services, officially termed Vigiliae by the church, appear to have existed from the earliest days of Anglo-Saxon Christianity. Each parish kept the morrow of its vigil as a holiday. Wakes soon degenerated into fairs; people from neighbouring parishes journeyed over to join in the merrymaking, and the revelry and drunkenness became a scandal. The days usually chosen for church dedications being Sundays and saints' days, the abuse seemed all the more scandalous. In 1445 Henry VI attempted to suppress markets and fairs on Sundays and holy days